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      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.1)
    I'm curious as to people's thoughts on James Bond. With many film adapts you tend to see a crowd of people outraged over the differences between the film and the source novels(see From Hell; Lord of the RIngs), however Bond seems to transcend this with many people's impression of Bond coming from film, not the books.

    Personally I like the books, but I think many of them are shit, it's the character of Bond that is so compelling. Compare him to Fantomos, a character who's ethic's and moral setting are so vastly different from the norm that you are compelled to follow him, even admire him. Whereas Bond works for- in theory- the good, he possesses the same qualities of any comic book or movie arch-villain: the ruthless, the drive to win at all costs, etc.

    So my question is what do people think is the best Bond and what should the future of his adaptations look like? Personally I like the hateful, violent, revenge mind Bond of the early books, and I don't think any movie has ever lived up to that. But what does everyone else thing?
    • CommentAuthorDracko
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.2)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I'm with you there, also because it amuses me to think just how big a boy Fleming is in writing that sort of stuff, wishing so hard he was all that that Bond is. The beginning of <em>Casino Royale</em> had not only the punch and style you'd hope from that - I'm thinking of the black and white intro and opening credits specifically here - but it's true that no film seems to have truly gone all the way, even this one, where you can still feel the nonsense Everyman Marketability bollocks. The Bond archetype is exceedingly different in the film version, and certainly more enduring.
  1.  (701.3)
    I love anti-heroes, morally dubious protagonists. So you bet I'd love the hateful, violent, revenge mind Bond.
    • CommentAuthorNickT
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.4)
    I'm a big fan of the Bond movies, but never really got into the books. I'm sure I'm alone in this, but my favourite has always been Moore.


    As for the future, I like when the style of Bond changes somewhat with each new actor. The six Bonds have all had their own style in their movies, I really dig that.
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      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.5)
    @ Dracko

    Right, right, I feel the beginning showed how ruthless Fleming's Bond could be, but the rest of the movie was a let down. They even stole all the wind out of his famous' 'the bitch is dead' line with the overwrought attempt by Bond to save her. However, if the other hundred minutes had been as good as the first five, we might've come close to Fleming's real early Bond.

    Personally I think it was only after Bond became a cash cow that Fleming sought to soften him.
    • CommentAuthorDracko
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.6)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Yeah, I enjoyed <em>Casino Royale</em> quite a lot, but the last third did leave a lot to be desired. A friend of mine jokes that he justifies it all has Bond's traumatised hallucinatory take on events after have his balls mercilessly brutalised. There were some sheer moments of thuggery and sadism, though. The keychain bomb in particular left me with a smirk.
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      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.7)
    In my head I almost imagine that in the same situation the Bond I know from Fleming's early books would let the bomb go off so M would have the political cover to let him fight the terrorist. But on screen a fight between two guys in a truck has always looked better since the days of Indian Jones and his last crusade.
  2.  (701.8)
    The keychain bomb in particular left me with a smirk.


    Oh, me too. Especially Bond's smirk, that was pure gold. But I liked the whole film.
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      CommentAuthorpomfelo
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.9)
    I enjoyed Casino Royale a lot. What I'm afraid of is what happened after Golden Eye. They make a good film with a back to basics approach: they jettison the extraneous gadgets and make Bond tougher with more pathos. Then the next films are gadget ridden cell phone commercials.
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      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.10)
    I have to admit, It's tied between Craig and Brosman with me. Craig--obviously, he had the great mix of action and dramatic meat to chew on, and Brosman...I grew up with him as Bond and I think that he defiantely had the chops to pull off Bond from the original books (hell, I heard they were just about to until they finally got the rights on Royale). I'm definately looking forward to Quantum of Solsance.

    Haven't gotten into the books yet--will soon, though.
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      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2008
     (701.11)
    My issue with Craig is that the Bond of Fleming's works is charming and vicious, never all at once, but able to turn on a dime from one to the other. The best Fleming writing always left me with the impression that Bond was really the cold, calculating, cruel persona, with the charm something he could turn on and off, as needed. Craig seems to always be over doing one or the other, then quickly trying to shoe-horn in the opposite to balance the act. The end result of the film, I felt, was that Craig's bond is neither as cruel as Fleming's or as charming, just playing at both constantly.

    But I guess since I never saw a Bond film until year after I had read all the books, I'll probably never be satisfied as long as EON keeps trying to make mainstream, crowd pleasing films.
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (701.12)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    007 is boring. I always thought he should have been played like a modern version of Sharpe. A soldier doing a job
    not for his country but for the other guys in his unit. Essentially the real 007 was Philby. He was the worlds best secret
    agent that we know about and he was a brit. He even had the charm and wit. He was a true believer and did the best
    possible job. He was also cruel and calculating as well as being a cold blooded murder. Hoover and Nixon gave him a medal
    for fighting communism. Hoover gave it to him in person.
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      CommentAuthorroque
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008
     (701.13)
    so far I like Craig's Bond the best, followed by Connery's. Craig seems to come the closest to what I always thought Bond should be-- a man who could do absolutely fucking anything for queen and country without a moral qualm. Connery's more charming, but still kicks ass (the fight scene on the train in From Russia with Love is one of my all-time favorites).

    as others have stated, Brosnan was a great Bond in voice, physicality, and grace, but he got shitty scripts. Goldeneye was the only one that was even tolerable. then, unfortunately he fell prey to the Hollywood need for anorexia and became so stupidly thin he didn't look like he could even lift a gun with one hand. so that shot his credibility, as it were, for me.
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      CommentAuthorOwsler
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2008 edited
     (701.14)
    Strangely enough, I'm not a diehard Connery fan. Dalton was the perfect Bond in my mind. Had the charm, the intelligence, the wolfish good looks, but damn he could drop those dead eyes. Craig is pretty good, and CR was a great reboot so to speak, but it still feels a little featherweight. That B/W opening was a nice touch, but felt more Sin City than gritty at the start and kind of ruined that great fight sequence in the toilet. Felt some of the chase sequences were still a little OTT, though they showed off Bond as a thinker over some invulnerable superhero nicely. Yes, they hobbled the 'the bitch is dead' line a little, but quite frankly in this cinematic age, I was surprised they kept it in at all.
  3.  (701.15)
    You guys seem to miss the fact that the Bond of the books is a total basketcase:

    He's deeply mistrustful of women and enjoys rough sex with them, especially the ones who like to be "taken".

    Having to be a "blunt instrument" drives him closer and closer to the edge of nervous breakdown with each successive novel. Fleming didn't soften him at all. He was a killer who was suffering the psychological price and stress of looking over his shoulder all the time for someone more vicious than him who might finally beat him, and then the toil of killing people, even if it's for Queen and Country. He kept musing on what it would take for M to finally sack him and kick him out of the service and thus spare him having to go through that shit again.
  4.  (701.16)
    Adi:

    I've never watched or read a James Bond adventure. But what you wrote makes me really curious about the books. Any you'd recommend starting with?
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      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
     (701.17)
    @ Adi-
    Fuck yes, finally someone gets it. The trouble with bringing Bond to the movies is that Fleming's Bond is- at his most basic level- deeply unlikeable. As I said I recently reread the first book and so much screams out, in particular I remember Bond thinking something about the 'sweet pleasure of rape'. He's a terribly disturbed sociopath and the books chart his course as getting more and more cold, but more and more disturbed. How many times does he quit the service, or resign himself to death in the hopes of accomplishing his mission? He comes off as someone who does an incredibly dangerous job in the hopes that it will kill him and every time it doesn't he winds up more and more disturbed. And, as far as my tastes go, it makes for a fascinating character. However, Hollywood is convinced that that sort of character isn't bankable and therefore all we ever get is a sanitized version. It would be nice to see Bond eventually go the way of public domain so that anyone could offer a take on him.

    @ Orwellseyes

    Start at the beginning, as I said, the books chart a course and the character builds. Start with Casino Royale and just read in order of publication. There's some entries that I think are crap, but the overall series is immensely enjoyable.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
     (701.18)
    Adi - he clearly does have a breakdown at the end of You Only Live Twice. I don't remember which book followed that, but I recall it starts with him trying to kill M. The implication is that after that he's just a hollow shell who's been filled with a facsimile of his old personality, and he's easily moulded by any dominant ideology.

    I'm a big fan of the idea of Bond as a fore-runner of the Bourne books, which he literally is, but I mean in terms of the implanted meta-personality aspect. I have occasionally wondered if part of the idea for Bourne came from the ending of You Only Live Twice.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
     (701.19)
    Just to add, part of Bond's tragedy is that M will never fire him. He's a very valuable piece on the chessboard, but one which will be sacrificed if necessary, never retired.

    Unless, of course, there's always a new Bond waiting to take on the job and the memetic personality that goes with it.
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      CommentAuthorChrisSick
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2008
     (701.20)
    Odd, I loved that as the basis for the Casino Royale spoof, but it could also be taken so much further.

    I'm not familiar with British copyright laws, what are the odds that Bonds will hit the public domain within my lifetime? Anyone?